Newly-crowned Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has laughed off suggestions she should share the title with rival Ariadna Gutierrez-Arevalo, who was wrongly named the winner of the contest last month.
In a botched finale to the beauty contest, host Steve Harvey named Miss Colombia Gutierrez-Arevalo the winner and she was crowned, only to have the title taken away minutes later when the comedian realized he had made a mistake. Miss Colombia was actually the runner-up.
Following the mix-up, many pageant experts, including former Miss USA boss Donald Trump, suggested Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, Wurtzbach, should share the title, but the new Miss Universe insists the crown is hers – and hers alone.
“I think it would be a little bit difficult for two girls to share a crown,” the 26-year-old model and actress told Good Morning America on Monday.
Wurtzbach explained she had spoken to Miss Colombia since the pageant finale and insisted her former rival “seems like she’s OK”, adding, “I understand how she feels. I know that she’s a beautiful young lady – very talented. I think that she’ll have a lot of other opportunities.”
As for Harvey, the new Miss Universe is a big fan despite his embarrassing mix-up and has called for him to return as host for 2016, insisting, “He’s a breath of fresh air.”
“He made us feel very relaxed, the contestants,” she said. “It makes us show our personalities a little bit more. I think that benefits everybody, especially the viewers.”